The Small Things
“What does your shirt mean?”
This was not a question I was expecting to hear at the local gym at 12:20 on a Thursday afternoon. Yet, there I was being ask to explain my shirt to an older woman in between shoulder press sets.
”This? Oh, I worked for the campaign in Florida in 2016.”
I gulped. “Yes.”
The woman smiled. “That must have been tough. My daughter did some work for her here during that time.”
And thus began a pleasant conversation about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
I’ve worn that shirt to the gym periodically for nearly three years. I have another one I wear that says I VOTED FOR HILLARY. Up until today, neither shirt had been the topic of conversation. But today, for whatever reason, my shirt was noticed.
It’s small things like this that have to keep us sane during these dark times. Having Moron Hitler and his goons in charge has been exhausting. We see that tension here on this blog as well as in our daily lives. We wake up to dreams about Agent Orange. We find ourselves irritable for no apparent reason. When we see a Twitter ally go off the deep end, we feel it affect us as if it were somebody in our own inner circle that we’re forced to cut out of our lives. The nightly news is a complete shitshow. And anytime Fox News is on in a public place, the urge to slam that television set to the ground often reaches unhealthy levels.
But we endure. We have to. Part of their strategy is to wear us down. To cage children. To protect rapists. To engage in Twitter spats with championship women’s sports teams. That’s who they are. They thrive on the chaos. At a time when the media should be talking about the most corrupt administration in American history, they’re instead talking about the president’s miserable grammar and upcoming Nuremberg, er, campaign rally. Their gaslighting of America knows no bounds. It’s tiring. It’s exhausting. And it’s completely the point.
There are more of us than them. There always have been. But it is the voices of hate that have finally been given a platform. They’re saying the quiet parts out loud. Republicans have always had authoritarian instincts, but now they’ve finally found a willing figurehead and willing Sith Lord in the Senate to put those instincts into action. For 40 years the religious and racist right have managed to co-exist. Now, they’re fully united behind a nonreligious man following White supremacy doctrines. Many of us thought fascism died after World War II. Instead, it lay dormant, slowly seething just beneath the surface. Donald Trump is not an isolated monster but rather is a modern-day Frankenstein created over a half-century as the culmination of Nixon’s Southern Strategy. He represents modern Republicanism and modern Republicans embrace him for that exact reason.
Our fight will not be won today. It will not be won tomorrow. Hell, I’d argue it won’t be won on November 3rd, 2020 even if we get the result we desire. There is a generation of work needed to undo this administration. But, take heed. You are not alone in this fight. WE are not alone in this fight. From Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, from San Antonio to Saint Paul, from San Diego to Savannah, there are tens of millions of Americans who think as we do. Who believe as we believe. Who act for the better good as we act. Who speak to truth as we speak. Each day, something small and seemingly insignificant happens like it did to me today. An email. A conversation. A bumper sticker in the parking lot. An editorial in the paper. A public protest. Individually, each of these acts seems small. But collectively, these small actions can yield significant results.
So take a deep breath. Channel your anger. Find your hope. Stay sane, however you best know how to do. But know this: there is no such thing as too small a deed. Every bit helps and every bit is needed to fight back. Every conversation you have, every email you send, every protest you attend matters. It matters in that it shows the other side we will not succumb to their constant attacks. We will not let them wear us down. We will not let them force us into apathy. We will not let them create a country, and a world, where evil deeds go unpunished. That’s what they want. They want us to become numb to the pain and suffering of our fellow citizens. They know what they can get away with when that happens. That is why it is crucial, it is CRITICAL that we never allow ourselves to reach that point.
And we avoid reaching that point by embracing the small things that keep us going.
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